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What Happens if You Get a DUI in Iowa?

In Iowa, driving under the influence (DUI) is typically referred to as “operating while intoxicated” (OWI). A person can be convicted of OWI for operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more, while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both, or while any amount of a controlled substance is detected in their breath or urine. There are serious repercussions for being charged with OWI in Iowa.

What Are the Penalties for Drunk Driving in Iowa?

The penalties for driving while intoxicated will depend on whether or not this is your first offense. Anytime someone is charged with an OWI, they will have to go through a substance abuse evaluation and treatment if it is recommended by the court. Additionally, OWI offenders must complete a drinking and driving course, or possibly a substance abuse education course.

The penalties for each offense are as follows:

First offense:

  • Jail: 48 hours to 1 year
  • Fines: $625 to $1,250
  • License Revocation: 180 days (if submitted to chemical testing and no previous OWI charges) to 1 year (if refused chemical testing and no previous OWI charges)
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): If seeking a temporary restrictive license (TRL), an ignition interlock device must be installed for the time that the TRL is issued.

Second offense:

  • Jail: 7 days to 2 years
  • Fines: $1,875 to $6,250
  • License Revocation: 1 year (if submitted to chemical testing and have previous OWI charges) to 2 years (if refuse chemical testing and have previous OWI charges)
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): 1 year (can be reduced by any period of time that a TRL was held)

Third or subsequent offense:

  • Jail: 30 days to 5 years
  • Fines: $3,125 to $9,375
  • License Revocation: 6 years
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): 1 year (can be reduced by any period of time that a TRL was held)

Additionally, a judge may issue an “emergency response” restitution of $500 for every agency that was dispatched to the scene of the drunk driver. Emergency services may include firefighters, police, ambulances, medical care, or any other emergency service.

OWI convictions can have a lasting impact on your future. Regardless of whether this is your first, second, or third charge, the penalties can profoundly impact your life. Our Des Moines DUI lawyers at Hope Law Firm are available to assist you with building a strong case defending your rights.

Call our skilled team today at (515) 298-5056 to discuss your case.

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